Before I get started, I want to thank the organizing committee. You all did such a FABULOUS job and we thank you!! Also, I want to reaffirm my BBFness with Debi. I'm SO glad you were there and I <3 you so much!!!
Thursday I got on a plane and headed to Chicago to spend the weekend with some of the most amazing women that I'm honored to know. I took a cab to the hotel and immediately ran into about 10 BO0Bs (see that Brandy/Debi??) and I couldn't even tell you who all was in the group! I was so overwhelmed but in a really good way. I was such an odd feeling to have these people to be saying my name and giving me hugs. I was almost crying when I checked in. :)
Once I got that squared away, I put my things in my room and went out to find people. I found another group by the pool and visited for a while. This group included my roommate for the night Darlin1. Then I continued to my room for the following two nights to meet those roommates...Brandi, Dawnya, & Stephanie. I had met Dawnya and I already knew how freaking awesome she is and how much I love her. I had talked with Stephanie off and on and felt like I knew her as well. I didn't know Brandi well, but I fully expected to love her too! We (along with some other lovely ladies) went to Pizzaria DUE for dinner and it was the first of many times that I had a moment where it almost felt like it was unreal.
|KMR, Stephanie, Jessica, Brandi, Angie, Dawnya, & Beth Ann|
|Beth Ann & KMR|
After dinner, more people started to make their way to the hotel. Debi made it which was great because as you know, she is awesome. Many of us made our way to a Drag Show. It was so much fun and we all drank up and acted silly. My favorite part was when the hostess asked from the stage what brought us together and completely in unison, we yelled "BO0Bs!!" Fabulous!
|Debi, Chili Pepper, Beth Ann & Joey|
|Debi & Beth Ann|
Friday morning, Debi & I went shopping. I don't have pictures of the fabulous coat I bought, but just know that it was fantastic! :)
|Debi & Beth Ann on the Magnificent Mile|
|Beth Ann w/ Marilyn|
We all headed to the Friday night meet and greet with big smiles and lots of love! The gift bags rocked the freaking house. I still haven't had a chance to enjoy all my goodies, but I can't wait. The organizers really outdid themselves. The Friday m&g was the first time I really got to spend some time with lots of people. I was so overwhelmed and busy trying to meet up with everyone that I didn't take many pictures. I'm actually okay with that because my sassy cami didn't do much to hide my arms and I'm not loving that. But I love my BO0B girls, so here are a few of the pictures that I did take.
|Maria & Beth Ann - Maria was someone I felt I didn't know well before this weekend and now I know she is the bomb diggity!! I'm so glad I got to spend some time with her!!|
|Beth Ann & Jessica - Jessica is my freaking hero for doing the Triathlon Relay. She is inspiring me to work toward something like that myself! Plus, is she hot or what??|
|My Chocolate Love Bunny Dawnya & Beth Ann - This girl is the real deal, y'all. She is one of the kindest souls I have ever met. Even if I do drive her bonkers!! :)|
|Stephanie M., DiznyDiva, Darlin1, Debi, BG, Stacey, Donut Butt, Jen & Lap Band Gal|
We ended up with five girls going to Jazzercise which was great! The class was small so we almost doubled it. :) The instructor was fun and I think we gave some extra energy to the class.
|Debi, Becky, Dawnya, Catherine & Beth Ann - Before!|
|Becky, Debi, Beth Ann, Dawnya, & Catherine - After and trying (badly!) to look gangsta!|
After the class, we couldn't find a cab so we walked the 1.5 miles back to the hotel. Honestly, this might have been my favorite part, We had such a fun time together on that walk home. That Becky is not only a little prankster, she is such an amazing person. I consider her such a friend to me. Plus, on the walk back, I got to see Dawnya run. That girl MOVES when she is about to be hit by a car!!!
After Jazzercise, I met FitBy40 for lunch. First of all? She is GORGEOUS!! Second, she is such an inspiration to me and I was so happy that she took time after a huge vacation to meet up with me. I love you, girlie!!
Saturday night! Dinner was nice, the restaurant was great, the drinks were fab and the company was absolutely delightful. Everyone looked fantastic and I got to wear the magic dress!! :) Sidenote: after so many compliments, feeling like a $1M, and requests for me to pass on the dress to others when I was done with it...I asked Stephanie how much it was cost me to bribe her out of it. That lovely little lady passed it on to me!! (With the caveat that I would send it back to her if she needs it which I TOTALLY will!) Thank you, Stephanie!! It is an amazing gift!! Big hugs!!
Now for the pics:
|Angie is another BO0B that I didn't feel like I knew well before this trip. If y'all don't know her, you should work to do so. She is AWESOME!!|
|Beth Ann, Liz & Maria - I'm not even 100% sure I was following Liz before this weekend. WTF? We are friend on FB and I talk to her a lot. I'm just going to assume that was a Blogger issue. Ha!!|
|Beth Ann & Grace - I got to bond with Grace a little on Saturday night and she is super fun!!|
|Darlin1, Sandy Lee, Band Groupie & Beth Ann - I kept teasing Darlin1 that she was my mom because she kept taking care of me, Sandy Lee and I talked Canadian geography, & Band Groupie was my original blogging inspiration. Super cool ladies!|
|Who's that? Oh yeah! It's my BBF!|
|Beth Ann & Stacey - Stacey is so super quiet but funny as hell!|
|Angela, Beth Ann, Jessica & Fluffy (taking the picture.) - these are my fitness goddesses. When I need to get my ass to a workout, these are some of the people I look to for inspiration! Oh and fashion tips...these girls have STYLE!|
|Lap Band Gal & Beth Ann - LBG is so down to earth and just so much fun to be around!!|
|Plus, we are Jazzercise buddies!! Jazz hands!|
|Stephanie M. & Beth Ann - I got to know Stephanie M. more this weekend too! She organized the Second City outing where we had such a blast!|
|Beth Ann & Tessie Rose - <3 One of the sweetest most wonderful people on the planet. I didn't get to spend as much time with Tessie as I would have liked, but she is just absolutely lovely.|
|Debi's funny. :)|
|Jenny & Beth Ann - this picture totally cracked me up. We look so confused!|
|That's better! More <3!|
|Beth Ann & Brandi - my new sister wife. Seriously, this girl is like my long lost friend that I never knew I had. Debi & I had so much fun with her that sometimes I think we forgot we just met!!|
|Dawnya, Beth Ann & Debi - A lot of Texas sexy in this picture!!|
|Beth Ann & Draz - I think I might have frightened her! :) Although, you can't see my hands, so it is quite possible that I just grabbed her ass...|
|Beth Ann, Read, & Brandi - Read is as hilarious in person as she is on her blog!|
|Beth Ann & Becky - Becky rules!|
|Beth Ann, Debi, Becky, & Brandi - this is like happiness in a picture for me. :) Except I looked possessed. That's a little weird.|
Sunday morning, Brandi, Debi & I went to an eggsellent breakfast before we headed out. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend!!
Ladies, I had an amazing time and I just can't thank all of you enough. Everyone was SO fun and inclusive and friendly. I think it would have taken real effort not to have felt happy and inspired throughout the weekend. I love all of you and I can't even put into words what a difference you have made in my life!!